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Thrifty Christmas: Research by WPP reveals a low festive spirit

Thrift Christmas research
This year's holiday season will be experiencing a thrifty Christmas according to a study recently conducted by WPP's Mindshare.
Thrift Christmas research
Foto: Bigstock

Mindshare, a media agency and part of the advertising giant WPP, recently conducted a study on the upcoming holiday season. Over 1,000 adults participated in the survey as part of the firm’s Reality Check report. The results indicated a thrifty Christmas. The percentage of adults who said they felt pessimistic about the calendar endpoint was 14%, nearly five times higher than last year.


Four out of ten respondents were anxious that they would not be able to afford the day of decadence, and only 25% of those polled felt optimistic about the upcoming vacation, a 25% fall from the previous year.


The rising cost of living is the reason behind the thrifty christmas

The shift in spending and consequent low christmas mood links back to the rising cost of living. Three out of ten consumers believe they will only use their credit cards as a last resort.  The age group of people that mostly expressed fear were those in their 35s and 54s.


Four out of ten respondents were concerned that they would not be able to afford the day of indulgence. Only 25% of those polled felt optimistic about the upcoming holiday, a 25% drop from last year.


The rising cost of living crisis is to blame for the deteriorating mood, and three out of ten people anticipate using their credit cards as a last resort. People in their 35s and 54s are the most likely to express worry.


Most people will prioritize saving over spending this Chrismas

When asked what they would prioritize this Christmas, 78% said saving money over spending money, 79% planning to remain home rather than go out, and 74% refraining from excessive excesses.

People will behave significantly differently this Christmas, regardless of their financial situation, according to Julia Ayling, head of research and insights at Mindshare UK. All brands will need to adjust to this, including those that have historically been rather recession-proof.

To ensure that their loved ones will still enjoy Christmas, the “squeezed middle” is making changes. This group requires support from marketers to stretch the expense over a more extended period, treat their children, and discover alternatives and replacements that highlight the joy of giving rather than the monetary worth.


Brands should be optimistic but adjust their expectations

Julia Ayling, head of research and insights at Mindshare UK, said: “Regardless of financial position, people will behave very differently this Christmas. All brands, even those that have traditionally been relatively recession-proof, will need to adapt to this.

“The ‘squeezed middle’ are making changes to make sure their loved ones can still enjoy Christmas. This group needs support from brands to spread the cost over a longer period, treat their kids and find alternatives and substitutes that celebrate the joy of giving rather being about the monetary value.”

Amid the gloom, Mindshare strikes a note of optimism, pointing to the fact that 67% are reining in gift expectations, and 56% are prioritizing scarce dollars and pennies on loved ones rather than themselves.

Mindshare’s findings follow a separate study, which found consumers were still willing to spend, but only if the price was right.


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